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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by halfbanana, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. halfbanana


    Nov 25, 2002
    I'm kinda new here. But this site looks awesome. I'm gonna try to pump some info from you guys.

    Does anybody have a recommendation for a good technique video? I think i have problems with my fretting hand. Muting and positioning.

    Another question: Has anyone found a way to keep the fretboard pointed up so that the wrist can stay straight while playing?
  2. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    Hi and welcome to TB!...

    On the video thing- I can't help ya very much (kinda out of touch with those these days).

    But do tell me more about you hand positioning probs and muting probs. Are you left handed playing a right handed bass? Have you talked to either other bassplayers or guitar players in person about it?

    About your last passage, please elaborate...I don't know what you mean about "pointing the fretboard "

  3. halfbanana


    Nov 25, 2002
    hey thanks. My problem is when i'm standing playing bass, my wrist is really strained to get around the neck. It will be at something like a 45 degree angle, which i think is unhealthy. So i was thinking it would be nice to have the head end of the bass pointed more vertically, so i could put my wrist in a more comfortable position. The only problem is, i can't find any way to hold the neck up like that. If i let my bass just dangle, it will fall back to being horizontal with the ground. Any ideas?
  4. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    You might have the bass set too low on your body. Everyone has a preferece on this, but the classical method is if your sitting down, the bass must be on you LEFT leg, and that while standing up it must be in the same position, just enough to cover your crotch. Know also that the human body can adapt itself to any job you want it to do. This being said, it might take some time for you to get used to the new hand positions.

    I would surmise that you are just starting out and been playing for a year or less. If you have been playing and practicing for over that time and your wrist is still straining about the neck, then either you are wereing the bass WAY too low or that you might indeed have something wrong with your wrist, which I highly doubt. Now if you want to wear the bass low, then when you practice, start off at that classical position first then GRADUALLY let some slack on the bass strap over the course of say, six months. That's the SAFE way to do it.

    Another trick that I have had to do myself from time to time is the tape trick: Get some electrical tape (it's cleaner when it comes off and thicker than most other types) and run a strip down the middle on the back of the neck from the body to the headstalk. Now, when your practicing, your thumb should never go above the top edge of the tape- you will be able to feel the edge with your thumb. You want your thumb position to be at the middle or lower of the neck. Some here would even venture to say that you don't want your thumb to go higher than the BOTTOM edge of the neck, but that will strain your wrist even further. But I think most here would agree, never let your thumb on or above the top edge.

    That sounds like an old Lotus bass I had once. The only reason I aquired it was becase it was neck through body, but the fretboard and headstock was heavier than the body so that when while standing I took my hands off of it and it would drop to a point where the neck was actually LOWER than the body. And yes- there was an undue amount of stress on my wrist because of it. I would venture to say that the problem is with the bass, but there would be some that would disagree with me here.

    I wanted to keep the thing (I was young) but I had to figure a few ways to keep it from happening. One method was to tie a velcro strap to the strap-bolt at the bridge and tie it around my leg. This works, but it makes walking a pain. The other method I tried (once again with Velcro(it was the eighties, baby!)) was to put a '6 by '6 pad of the velcro on the back of the body and the other end to a belt for my pants. This worked until the velcro wore out (10 hours playing time). Needless to say- the Lotus went bye-bye.

    I have seen some 3-way straps out there just recently on musicians on the TV. Hmm...I wonder if anyone here would know where to find them?


  5. halfbanana


    Nov 25, 2002
    Yeah, i leave the bass covering my crotch, i leave it that low because it gives the right arm more room to slap. The left really doesn't get more comfortable until I pull it up to the stomach area. Maybe it's like your old lotus. But you know, I've actually been playing for 3 years this way, and i do like the tone on my bass. Just wish it wasn't so goddamn topheavy.
  6. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Billy Sheehan's "Bass Secrets" and "On Bass"
    Beaver Felton's "Superchops for Bass"
  7. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    I DEFINAITLY understand the tone-thing...I know that you probably don't want to part with that bass, then. Here are your options for a top-heavy bass:

    -Work out more with your left arm and I don't mean the traditional 10-15 reps 3 times, I mean get a weight that you can curl twice or less and curl it SLOWLY, everytime you curl it get even slower. This is good for working out a muscle group that will have a constant weight on it. As I said before- you have a body and you can get it to do anything physically you want it to, it just takes time.

    -Get another type of strap. I think there are at least a few in here that would know about that 3-point-strap deal. Let's give them a chance to respond...

    -Get creative about holding that bass in place. Hell, you might just figure a way to do it and make yourself a millionaire. Remember- simple is better. If you can figure a way to hold it in place, you might have just built a better mousetrap. Do not be afraid to make your own strap-types and whatnot. As with any intrument, bass is an EVOLVING instrument. Take it to the next level...

    -Get rid of it. I know you don't want to hear this, but you probably can get the same tone with a more expensive bass. I personally will not bet on it, but like I did before, that maybe your last and only option. These things would vary differently from type to type of music. If your a jazz player, being on a stool at gigs would not only be cool looking, but would serve it's purpose to keep that headstock up. It's really all a matter of what you want to do.


  8. halfbanana


    Nov 25, 2002
    Thanks, bassdodger. If anybody knows of any good straps for this purpose let me know. One of my ideas was to reposition the straplocks so the guitar sits at a different angle. My lack of guitar anatomy knowledge is going to show here, but I was thinking about placing the front-end straplock on the bottom tip of the body (instead of the top where they're usually located). Then maybe I can move the straplock on the bottom a few inches up. Do you think this would cause any problems?

    Also, thanks sobie18. I'll look into those.

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